Out of the Furnace is headlined by Christian Bale as Russell Braze, a blue collar Northeasterner who works long days at a local steel mill and juggles his free time between his girlfriend/would-be wife Lena Warren (Zoe Saldana) and caring for his terminally ill father.
When Russell’s brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns from his military service in Iraq, he gets involved in a crime ring headed by the vicious Curtis DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). It doesn’t take long for Rodney to cross his employers the wrong way, which results in him disappearing and the local law enforcement being unable to help. Russell therefore takes matters into his own hands, seeking assistance from his uncle “Red” (Sam Shepard) to hunt down and punish the men responsible.
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The Out of the Furnace trailer does a pretty good job of laying out the plot (without giving away too much), while teasing strong performances from Bale and Harrelson in the film, in addition to the film’s solid supporting talent – which includes actors like Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker (The Butler).
All things considered, the use of Pearl Jam’s “Release” in the trailer is effective, when combined with glimpses of the intense story – a lower-class citizen rallying against the system that has failed him to protect him and his loved ones - as well as the film’s rustic color palette and poetic imagery of the decaying factory town setting captured by director of photography Masanobu Takayanagi (whose resume includes Warrior, The Grey and Silver Linings Playbook – not so shabby, right?).
Scott Cooper directed Out of the Furnace, from an original script that he co-wrote alongside the lesser-known screenwriter Brad Ingelsby. It appears that Cooper is taking a similar approach on this film as he did with his directorial debut, Crazy Heart: create a backdrop with a tangible look and feel, then put the cast front and center (so as to not distract from their rich and nuanced character portrayals).
Last time, that technique netted Jeff Bridges an Oscar for his turn as an alcoholic country singer (ex-)legend, in Crazy Heart. We’ll have to wait and see how the Academy responds to Cooper’s sophomore feature, but so far it looks like it could be an excellent piece of storytelling on its own terms.
Be sure and share your own thoughts about the Out of the Furnace trailer in the comments section below.
Out of the Furnace begins a limited U.S. theatrical release on November 27th, 2013.
Source: iTunes Movie Trailers